Mark Speakman said he was ‘very sorry’ to read what a Hunter abuse survivor had suffered

The Newcastle Herald

July 24, 2018

By Joanne McCarthy

NSW Attorney General Mark Speakman has ordered the transcript of a controversial 2001 Newcastle trial against an Anglican priest after a Hunter child sexual abuse survivor described it as an “ambush”.

Steve Smith last week wrote to Mr Speakman seeking an apology from the State of NSW for a Newcastle District Court trial where three key people, including the judge, failed to disclose their associations with Newcastle Anglican Diocese.

The trial collapsed after the diocese belatedly produced a register that the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse would later note contained “a number of irregularities”.

But it was the late Judge Ralph Coolahan’s criticism of Mr Smith from the bench that shattered the man who the diocese now concedes was repeatedly sexually abused by priest George Parker in the early 1970s, from when he was just 10 years old.

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